First-class cabin

Mercedes-Maybach Just Revealed the World’s Most Opulent SUV

November 22, 2019 Cars By

It was only a matter of time. On Thursday, Mercedes-Benz’s Maybach division finally yanked the covers off the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic — the super-luxury sub-brand’s first SUV.

Even if we hadn’t seen any of the thousand spy photographs of the Maybach SUV rolling around before its debut, the big ultra-lux high-rider’s arrival wouldn’t have been all that surprising. After all, Bentley and Rolls-Royce — Maybach’s two primary competitors — rolled out their sport-utes years ago, both of which have proven a boon for their respective brands.

Still, the Maybach GLS 600 manages to outdo them in at least one key area: back-seat accommodations. The second row consists of a pair of reclining heated, ventilated and massaging captain’s chairs, much like in the S-Class-based Maybach models.

The Maybach GLS can also be optioned up with a center console in back that holds deployable tables and a small refrigerator. (The press release suggests you can also get the second row with a more traditional layout…but really, why would you?)

As astute readers may have guessed, the new Maybach is based on the latest Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, which hit the streets earlier this year. Power comes from a revised version of the powertrain found in the GLS 580 — a mild-hybrid 4.0-liter V8 that cranks out up to 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, with the electric motor adding up to 21 hp and 184 lb-ft, and a nine-speed automatic connecting the engine to all four wheels. That’s enough zoot to scoot the elephantine Maybach from 0 to 60 mph in a claimed 4.8 seconds, should the well-to-do folks in the back feel the need.

Those VIPs in the rear are more likely to be impressed by the SUV’s active suspension, which uses the E-Active Body Control system that lets the GLS and GLE bounce around like squeaky pogo sticks to control the dampers of each individual wheel at superhuman speeds, smoothing out road imperfections with ease. The system even uses road-scanning cameras to look for upcoming bumps and potholes, then preps the suspension in advance — creating the effect of ironing out the road ahead.

A Burmeister surround sound stereo, a separate air conditioner for the second row, two-tone exterior paints, 23-inch wheels, expansive use of rose gold trim as a signature design cue; the list of luxuries in the Maybach is too long to completely spill here.  But perhaps nothing quite illustrates this SUV’s opulent nature quite as well as this: It has its own signature scent. “The white osmanthus blossom, floral and light,” the press release says, “is rounded off by a gentle leather note and spicy tea.”

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Will Sabel Courtney

Will Sabel Courtney is Gear Patrol’s Motoring Editor, formerly of The Drive and RIDES Magazine. You can often find him test-driving new cars in New York City, cursing the slow-moving traffic surrounding him.

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